Mosquitoes can really put a damper on your summer fun – particularly if your plans include a hike through the woods.
You may joke that mosquitoes are more attracted to some people in your group than others. It’s not a joke though, there are real reasons for this!
By understanding what mosquitoes are attracted to, you can better plan to keep those pesky bugs away this summer.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
Contrary to popular belief, not all mosquitoes bite. Only female mosquitoes seek out blood as they use it for developing their eggs.
What makes me attract mosquitoes?
Let’s start with the things that we can easily control – like what clothes you decide to wear. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing. The same can be said for the sun’s rays, so wearing a light-colored shirt on a hot day can be a win-win.
What beverage you decide to have can also be an easy point of control for managing mosquitoes. Alcohol can raise your body temperature and potentially cause your skin to give off a chemical that mosquitoes are attracted to – both can attract mosquitoes.
Being outside in the hot sun can oftentimes trigger you to start sweating, even for those that are not aggressively exercising. Your sweat creates an area of high humidity that attracts mosquitoes that are in need of water.
Mosquitoes also have a great sense of smell, particularly when it comes to tracking certain odors or chemicals. Researchers believe that to some degree our natural scent is genetic. So if many people in your family are consistently bitten by mosquitoes, genetics could play a role.
However, we do have some control over the way we smell, namely in deodorants and perfumes. Just like your natural scent, certain products you use to manage your body’s smell could be the reason for attracting mosquitoes. Try switching products or going without them to see if it makes a difference in how many mosquitoes you believe you attract.
What else can I do to stop mosquitoes?
There is an entire industry of products built around solving the pesky mosquito problem. Bug spray is the most obvious solution to try, but there are also candles, keychains, and a wide variety of other products.
With any of these products, DEET is the crucial ingredient to spot to ensure the product lasts longer and has improved functionality.
There are a few things you can do around the house too:
- Remove leaves from the rain gutter. Water buildup in a plugged rain gutter is bad for many reasons, but in this case, it can create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Re-fresh water in your bird baths frequently as this another common breeding location.
- Keep your grass cut relatively short – long grass attracts mosquitoes and other bugs.